Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ft. Sumter – The Start of the Civil War

Charleston – Day 4 continued

One Hundred Fifty years and 22 days ago the War Between The States started right here at Ft. Sumter. At 0430, April 12, 1861 a mortar was fired from Ft. Johnson and exploded over Ft. Sumter signaling the other Confederate batteries to open fire. 

At 2 pm on April 13, after the Confederates had fired over 3,000 rounds, the commanding officer of Ft. Sumter, Major Anderson, agreed not to surrender but to evacuate the fort to Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard. On April 14, Anderson personally lowered the flag and evacuated the fort on steamers provided by Beauregard. 

Of the approximately five hundred and eighty men who participated on both sides at Fort Sumter, not a single life was lost. Interestingly, Anderson had been Beauregard's artillery instructor at West Point.

Union efforts to retake Charleston Harbor began on April 7, 1863. The South held the fort until it was finally evacuated on February 17, 1865. For almost 2 years, 46,000 shells, estimated at more than 7 million pounds of metal, were fired at Fort Sumter. During that time Confederate losses were only 52 killed and 267 wounded. About 500 slaves were “employed” at the Fort and used to strengthen and repair the fort's defenses. There is no record of how many of them were killed or wounded. 
Exactly four years to the day after he'd lowered the flag in surrender, Major, now General, Robert Anderson re-raised the flag in triumph.

5 days short of 4 years later, after the loss of over 620,00 lives, General R.E. Lee surrendered to General Grant and thus ended the Civil War. However, this is not the last you will hear from me of the Civil War. 

1 comment:

Ernie and D' Carpenter said...

What a sight! My professor in college really talked this war up and Ft. Sumter was only the beginning. Thanks!!!! D'